Looking more like a brown fur ball than a pup, six-week-old Krypto showed up recently at the University of Miami’s Foote University Green in search of a new home and master. His temporary digs, a cage inside a local animal shelter, was a bit too cramp for his tastes. A home with a yard, and maybe even a little boy or girl to play with, was high on his wish list.
Luckily for this young pup, he found what he was looking for. Krypto was one of three furry four-legged friends adopted on April 26 at the UM Pre-Veterinary Society’s Puppies on the Green event. Read the full story
UM employees sort through boxes of donated toys, books, clothes, and other items at His House Children’s Home.
The boxes had been sitting dormant in the warehouse at His House Children’s Home for days before a group of University of Miami employees arrived one Friday to begin sorting the contents—much-needed donations of books, clothes, furniture, and toys for the abused and neglected youngsters who live at the residence. Read the full story
The University of Miami Women’s Commission is once again sponsoring a drive to collect donations for Safe Space, a shelter for women escaping from domestic violence. Suggested items include toiletries, gift cards, baby products, and unwrapped toys for children. Donations will be accepted through Thursday, December 13. Collection boxes can be found at the following locations:
Coral Gables campus: University Center lobby, Ashe Building lobby, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Herbert Wellness Center atrium, and the Office of Student Employment
Gables One Tower: Suite 950
Miller School of Medicine campus: Medical Wellness Facility
Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has allowed Miller School of Medicine preventive health care pioneers Guillermo “Willy” Prado and Hilda Pantin to serve thousands of Miami-Dade families.
Over the past 14 years, Prado, associate professor of epidemiology and public health and director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, and Pantin, executive vice chair and professor of epidemiology and public health, have led an NIH-funded research study that began as a small pilot test and grew to encompass a large family intervention program.
Together the two researchers have created and fostered the Familias Unidas, an evidence-based intervention designed to prevent behaviors such as adolescent drug use, risky sexual behavior, cigarette smoking, and alcohol abuse among Miami-Dade’s Hispanic adolescents.
“The culturally sensitive program is built on the theory that adolescent problems can be fixed at home by capitalizing on the strong ties for which Hispanic families are known,” said Prado. “Students in 24 middle schools are receiving instructions on how to assist parents to become more effective leaders in their own families and to share skills with them so they can provide guidance to their kids.”
Prado and Pantin believe their work is to give back to their community. The NIH funds go directly to the community through the Miami-Dade County Public School System and are used to train middle school social workers and counselors to deliver the Familias Unidas public health intervention program with collaborators from the Miami-Dade County Public School System. The counselors come from TRUST (To Reach Ultimate Success Together), a school-based program to combat substance abuse built on the idea that schools must take a leadership role in addressing the substance abuse problem among youth.
As further proof that Prado and Pantin are making a difference, earlier this year Familias Unidas was chosen from more than 900 applicants to qualify as a Blueprints for Violence Prevention Promising Program, a prestigious designation for intervention programs that meet the highest standards and rigorous tests of effectiveness. The Institute of Medicine has cited Familias Unidas as one of the few drug abuse and HIV prevention programs ready for wide-scale dissemination.
John Pepper’s family lost nearly everything when their house burned to the ground. But from tragedy grew inspiration. So impressed was a then 14-year-old Pepper with the first responders who helped his family that day that he decided to become an explorer with the local Volunteer Fire Department in his hometown.
“I loved everything about it,” says Pepper. “The opportunity to help others in their greatest time of need, coupled with the physical and mental challenges, made me realize it was the career track for me.”
Today Pepper is an emergency manager in the Security Department at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, a role in which he is responsible for disaster and emergency mitigation, planning, response, and recovery, as well as administering systems such as the Emergency Notification Network.
His desire to help others has helped foster a philanthropic nature in his character. Pepper, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and communication studies from UM, is a United Way of Miami-Dade Leadership donor—placing him among those employees who donate 1 percent or more of their salary to the nonprofit organization that identifies and resolves pressing community problems.
“The University of Miami and United Way are on the move, changing the world for the better,” Pepper says. “I am very proud to give 1 percent to the United Way because it makes me a part of something greater than myself.”